Sunday, December 13, 2015

Santa Claus

(Content from this post was included in my book, Appearances: A Journey of Self-Discovery in Chapter 8: Santa Claus. I modified the chapter for Project 4 Toastmaster Speech.)

I was the 2nd born of 6 children. My grandparents on both sides of the family were Russian, Orthodox Jewish immigrants. My mother’s father was a tailor and made clothes. My father’s father started an advertising specialty business.

While my mother stayed home with us, my father worked for his father’s business which didn’t pay very well so when Chanukah came, we got one big present we all had to share. Fortunately, my mother loved crafts, so each year we learned a new craft and made presents for everyone in our family.

In the meantime, everyone I knew in school celebrated Christmas and talked about what Santa Claus brought them. Well, I thought Chanukah was boring! I wanted Christmas! With LOTS of presents, a beautiful big Christmas tree that smelled like evergreen and was decorated with ornaments and colored lights. I wanted decorations on the front lawn… like our neighbor had.

One December, while I was still a little girl, our neighbor asked my mother to paint the details on some reindeer she got for her yard display. Mom did a beautiful job, but would not accept any money—HOWEVER, that year, Santa Claus came.

Santa brought each of us girls our very own baby doll. I didn’t have to share her with ANYone. I played house and made all kinds of houses and furniture out of boxes, cardboard, and fabric.

We all grew up and got busy with our own lives, careers, and families so there was no longer time to be creative. And none of us dated or married anyone Jewish. In 2 separate relationships, the partners I had were often unemployed and had bad credit. They insisted I spend the holidays with their families and I couldn’t go to mine. They also insisted on buying their family members expensive gifts—with MY credit cards. I can’t believe I let them! In spite of the red flags, I even married the 2nd one.

With my life often in a state of chaos, I wished with all my might that there was a real Santa Claus. One day when I was picking up supplies during the holiday season for the service station I was working for, I saw a beautiful stuffed Santa. Back at work, I described it to my boss with childish excitement. When he went to the store the next day, he bought it for me and said Merry Christmas! I don’t think he realized how precious that gift was to me. Santa Claus became a symbol of hope and I kept him out all year long.

My husband not only insisted we spend the holidays with his family, he insisted we move from California to Austin, TX. Most of our stuff, including Santa, went into a storage space in California before we left. We weren’t able to go back that summer and get the stuff out of storage as planned.

As Christmas was approaching, I got homesick and announced I wanted to take a trip to see my family. My husband said NO and replied that I had to choose between him and my family. I chose. I left him in November 1995 and took my son home via Amtrak to visit my family.

During that trip, I drove to the storage locker to get my son’s body-board, my Santa, and a few other things I really missed only to find out that the lock had been changed. Apparently, my husband was afraid that I’d take something of his while he wasn’t there.

My son and I boarded Amtrak Christmas eve to return to Texas. I cried myself to sleep that night on the train. On Christmas morning, Santa Clause came to me again… in a dream. He handed me a small magic sleigh that transported me to many different rooms in a large house. Each room contained one of the goals I had in my life. He said to look! It is all yours! The last room I was taken to was a room full of toys.

There was a little boy sitting in the middle of the toys crying and a little girl standing with a stubborn expression on her face. The little girl was told that she had everything she wanted and needed to make her happy but the boy had nothing but the toys. Why not let the boy have all the toys? When she agreed, I woke up.

Contrary to the way I felt the night before, I was in a state of total and complete joy. I knew that God used the symbol of Santa Claus to give me hope. I realized the little girl was my inner child and that the little boy was my husband’s inner child. With Santa’s promise that every one of my dreams would be fulfilled, I released the despair of losing all my and my son’s things.

When my son and I got back to Texas, I hired a lawyer and filed for divorce with a loan from a friend and gave the whole situation to God to work out. I found Rudolph at a Thrift store and he kept me company, assuring me that Santa would return. At the end of the school year I made arrangements to stay with my older sister, and moved back to California with my son.

Shortly after we arrived, my niece spotted my Rudolph and showed me her Santa. We shared stories about how we ended up with them. The following day, she brought home a Rudolph that matched her Santa and gave them both to me as a gift. She didn’t see my tears. Santa kept showing up to remind me that everything would be OK.

When I felt hopeless that December, I could only see a small part of a much bigger picture. At the time I did not realize I would be returning to California to continue my life. It turned out that I was fortunate our things were still in storage there, for just like we didn’t have the money to bring them to Texas, I would not have had the money to bring it all back home.

My lawyer sent me a letter stating that my soon to be ex would get what was his out of the storage space the following July and turn the key over to me. Since all the furniture had been bought with my credit cards, I was to have the furniture, too. People told me not to trust my ex—but I trusted God, and I knew Santa would be there to supervise.

My son and I celebrated Christmas that July when we were able to get our things out of the storage locker. To this day, Santa Claus is very special to me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In Memory of Jon

Jon is my brother, the 5th child of 6. He had Spina Bifida / Hydrocelphalus at the base of his skull at birth and wasn't expected to live more than 30 days. The bubble on the back of his neck/head was surgically removed along with part of his brain. The doctors told my parents to put him in an institution because he'd be blind and a vegetable due to the extent of the brain damage he had. My parents didn't listen and took him home (at the end of the 30 days hospital stay). They felt Jon following them around in the room at the hospital with his eyes even though the doc said he was blind. He was an absolutely beautiful child--as depicted in the photo. In spite of his condition, he even learned to laugh and often made us all smile. 30 days? He graced us with his presence for 49 years. He wasn't blind, he didn't have any reflexes so couldn't blink. Mom taught him how to blink. He learned many other things as well. As he got older, his poor body became spastic and shriveled, and he eventually went blind. Mom took care of him until he let out his final breath.

Don't let any doctor tell you how long you have to live. Only God knows. And if you believe what your doctor tells you, you will do what the doctor says will happen.

I, too, was born with a neural tube defect... in my lower back... which wasn't diagnosed until I was almost 50. I had extremely tight hamstrings and was often challenged by nerve compression to my legs. I was even wheel chair dependent for a number of years after I fell off a chair. My legs went to sleep and wouldn't wake up. I thought it was permanent, but then somehow, it healed and I have the use of my legs back. It comes and goes just like the seasons.

When Dad passed away in 2008, I had an unusual experience and so did one of my sisters. I felt his presence from 1,500 miles away spiritually hugging me and telling me he loved me. He was never able to do this while he was in his human body so this was an exceptional mystical experience. Around that time, one of my sisters had a dream that both he and our brother, Jon, were in the spiritual world, only Jon had a perfect human body. Dad told her in the dream that they would both wait for Mom. It was only a matter of time to find out whether Mom or Jon would pass on first. It was Jon. They both wait for her just like in the dream. I know this for sure. Yes, I believe that Heaven Is For Real. Dad had his challenges, too--such as severe mood swings and unpredictable outbursts of a bad temper, sometimes outright mean. He was paired in this life with Jon--a child who was incapable of any of this. They are BOTH in "Heaven" side by side.

I believe Heaven is a place where we evolve as souls. A place where we all are one in spirit. My 'proof of Heaven' was the experience I felt when Dad passed away and my sister's dream. In Heaven there are no religions. Religion separates us from each other. When you read the history of religion, there was hate, war, and murder, in the 'name' of each religion's God. There still is. God intended us to be One. We were all created from the same place/source. I just don't understand how people can not see or understand this. I know what the bible says, but I also know what I experienced. And I've known many others with similar experiences. We come to this planet with a set of life experiences that contribute to our evolvement as souls. Our path is to overcome specific challenges to burst out of fear and limitation into pure love and abundance.

Today, in memory of Jon, I send love to every inch of our planet. I pray for world peace. I pray for the transformation from hate, war, and murder to unconditional love. As I eat my Thanksgiving meal, I wish I could share it with all the starving children in our world. Peace.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Life is a school and EVERYONE is a student!

I had the luxury of sleeping in this morning and opened my eyes to these exact words. Yet, there were many times that I believed what I was told by others to be the truth before researching the facts and getting other view points.

If everyone is a student of life, this would mean we all can benefit from learning from each other instead of arguing and fighting over which person is right. If everyone is a student, including our parents, and the entire family was aware of it, I believe there would be more compassion and understanding.

It would also have been nice if we were taught from a very early age how to communicate peacefully. If I found out my parents were students when I was young, I would have strived to ask more questions, especially about their own upbringing and what life was like when they were growing up. I would have found out much sooner, that maturity is a gift that not everyone obtains.

What if we were told we were all students in preschool and kindergarten? Can you imagine what school would have been like if our assignments were to bring in information on something we are interested in and share this with our classmates instead of enduring a strict lesson plan and teachers controlling everything we learn?

I know my son would have loved to do this. When I picked him up after his first day of kindergarten, he told me, “School is dumb! They just try to teach me things I already know!” Then by the third day of kindergarten, he figured out how to read. Instead of reading children’s books, he spent hours browsing through the pages of my sister’s encyclopedias. We thought he was just looking at the pictures, but he began telling us what he had read. I approached his kindergarten teacher about letting students like my son help teach class, but the answer was a defiant NO. My son would not back down, though, and was often sent to the principal’s office.

David Curan, a teacher in Montana, came up with an exercise relating to journalistic writing which was not directly about writing non-fiction but how non-fiction is chosen for the media. He cut out short newspaper clippings that he found interesting and pasted them to 8.5 x 11 sheets which he made copies of and distributed to his students. He divided the class into groups and explained that each group was their own television news station. Then he explained that much of the news comes in over what is called a wire service and that hundreds of articles come in. Their job was pick enough stories to give a three minute presentation that they would give in front of the class. They could pick someone to be the news person or everyone could take a turn presenting, but the group had to present three minutes of news. After the presentation, he asked the students if they thought the news on television gives them all the news. How did they pick what they presented? I think you get the idea here. The newspapers and media have limited space and we are rarely getting the whole story about anything, jumping to conclusions too quickly based on what we read and hear. Many times the information has been verbally passed down and by the time we get it, the original message is lost.

One of the games I remember the strongest when I was a kid is the one in which you whispered something to the person next to you and told them to pass it on. By the time it came back to you, it was completely different. Whenever I hear from someone what they heard from someone else, I am cautious about taking their word for it.

I’ve also learned that we all have different communication styles which can cause confusion on how information we are told gets processed. In my college communications class I learned it was important to give feedback to the person we are listening to and make sure we understood what they were telling us - both in business and in our personal lives. Of course, I forgot about this soon after and often misunderstood what was being told to me, which often resulted in my feelings getting hurt. If it is so easy to misunderstand what we are told, how can you expect to hear the truth after it has funneled down through several people?

Life is a school and EVERYONE is a student. Whether it is politics, medicine, religion, or something else, I plead with you all to read and listen to news with a grain of salt and decide for yourself what you will believe. I also plead with you to acknowledge how easy it is to misunderstand what you hear before you jump to conclusions and make snap judgments about people. Imagine what an epidemic of compassion could bring to our world!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Contrast, Triggers, and the Law of Allowing

I subscribe to Christy Whitman's newsletters which include videos. In a recent one about the Law of Allowing, I felt an additional 'ingredient' to recent moments of synchronicity. One of those is the slowly deflating tire on my car. How very 'coincidental'. I'd been losing 'air' in the form of energy because I was letting someone I know suck it out of me. I was feeling 'deflated' by some of the words she had been telling me over the last year, while I replayed them over and over in my mind. Perhaps my tire situation wasn't so coincidental after all!

I also saw the following quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." Did I really want to give this person permission to hurt me?

Over the past year, someone I know, who I'm sure had my best interests at heart, was very careless with her words. Each time I was assaulted by something she said, texted, or messaged me, I felt angry. I also asked myself if what she was saying was really true. I was free to accept them or reject them. Just the same, the words were leaving new wounds on top of old ones. The fact that I was dwelling on them confirmed this.

In applying everything I've been learning over the last four years, I kept hearing the voice of my younger sister telling me to silently say, "Thank you for letting me know I still have this issue to heal." My sister had taken Christy Whitman's Life Coach program and was applying the concepts to her own life while passing the wisdom onto me. Indeed, I still had memories and childhood wounds that were affecting me. The only way I would know, is if someone triggers them. I even wrote a song about this... the first two verses go like this:

"If someone pulls a trigger, 
you may see my cry, 
sometimes I know the reason, 
sometimes I don't know why. 

I've been hit with the meanest words, 
that were curt and they were cold, 
so be careful what you say, 
words can hurt my sensitive soul."

I love my older sister (five years older). She was like a second mother to me. She was, however, a Leo and a very bossy, controlling one. At some point, I had to grow up and figure out what was right for me as I had always been the docile, accepting one... accepting whatever I was told as the truth.

There are way too many people in this world who believe their 'truth' should be the same truth for everyone else... including in politics and religion.

Here I was, last week, still dwelling on the words spoken to me. Then Friday afternoon, I overheard a woman preach the hell and damnation scenario. If you don't accept Jesus as your savior, you're going to hell! At one time, I had wondered whether this was really true so I embarked on a religious journey of my own, studying all the religions of the world. I concluded that as long as people had a belief in something, that was what mattered. I am just sad for the ones who like I was at one time, buying into their narrow point of view.

Here I was, hearing this speal, when I began to smile inside. The people who had spoken so many hurtful words to me were no different than the religious person who speaks theirs. I didn't have to let it affect me.

What's more, I realized the more I heard the degrading words of my former associate, the more I knew they were not true. She was speaking them from HER perspective. As I digested this, looking down at the bigger picture from my home in the sky (from my post on Skydiving), I thought about everything in life being created for a purpose, including the contrast that the world offers so we can learn about ourselves by both what we want and what we don't want and by what we decide is true for us.

As for synchronicity, a new video landed in my email inbox from Christy on the Law of Allowing. She said when we no longer resist contradictory circumstances that trigger our emotions, look at them as an observer, ask what they are trying to tell us, we can learn from them. As Teal Swan says in her videos, use emotions as your compass and let them flow through you. They don't have to live in your body and drag you down to the bottom of the sea like an anchor.

Where in your life are you begin triggered? Is there someone who spits words that hurt without any regard to your feelings? If you could step back as an observer and look at the bigger picture, can you see lessons you could learn from the experience? Please comment below.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sky Diving

From Chapter 9 of "Appearances: A Journey of Self-Discovery", (written in 1996).

Imagine—you jump from a plane high in the sky with a parachute strapped to your back. The parachute is designed to automatically open at just the right distance from the ground. You know when it opens, your free fall will end and you will coast safely to earth, but while you are falling, fear grips at your soul. If the parachute doesn’t open, you will not survive. After the parachute opens, you can focus on the earth from a distance. Your perception is larger than when you are standing on earth.

I’ve learned we are all born with an unlimited supply of parachutes. Yet, each time I must let go of previous experiences, like a relationship, job, or home (or all three simultaneously), I feel as though I am free falling. I know that the parachute will open and God will make sure I land safely and provide me with everything I need. But I am terrified on the way down. I never know where I am going to land until I get there. Feelings of panic in the form of depression, isolation, and disorientation grip my being while I wait for God to do what God does at the exact right moment. I don’t know what that moment will be - just like I don’t know when that parachute will open. Sometimes the panic gets so bad I lose faith that the parachute will open at all.

Suddenly, in every circumstance, the parachute opens. My view of the world becomes clear. As I see things from a distance, my perception expands. At that moment, I usually know what to do and what decisions to make. Circumstances rearrange themselves like clouds forming in the sky to fit into a perfect shape. By the time I get to the ground, I have exactly what I need to move on to another segment of my life. Like a dandelion seed that had been blowing in the wind for quite some time, I take root and watch life grow around me again.

I don’t like the feeling of free falling, being face to face with the unknown, yet I keep finding myself there. I had seen marriage as a parachute but it was one that tore on the way down. I find that the only parachutes I can truly rely on are the ones God supplies me with. Perhaps if I did not have so many mishaps and experienced God’s parachutes so many times I would not have any faith in them.

In May 1996, I found myself in the free fall again - jobless, homeless, and running from my marriage. Sometimes I could close my eyes and get lost in the sensation of falling. Other times I panicked as my world spun around me in the form of the many choices I felt unable to make. I moved into the second half of my life with the belief that I DO have parachutes and that God always makes sure that I land safely.

I knew that somewhere down there, the perfect job was waiting. Somewhere down there I knew there was a perfect home for Jesse and me to settle into. Somewhere down there I knew there was the magic of a healthy relationship complete with love, compassion, encouragement, nurturing, understanding, and cooperation.

While I waited for the landing, this book was forming. Each morning for two weeks, I woke up knowing exactly what I was going to write, and spent the entire day writing. The words flowed smoothly and effortlessly....

Tell me, where in your life did you feel like you were free falling? How many times did you free fall before you began to believe you, too, had a parachute? Please comment below.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Many Faces of Resilience

The topic of resilience has been on my mind for the past week, urging me to write about it. My thoughts are often inspired by other thoughts and today I received the new issue of Pain-Free Living, formerly, Arthritis Self-Management magazine. (The editors decided to change their name after receiving the results of a survey.)

One of the articles is on Being Mindful about Pain, by Nicola Davies, which includes five different ways of accomplishing this. Nicola "began to see pain as something that visited her body, not something that defined who she was." I included a quote in my book Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain, page 46, "Fibromyalgia is what I have, it's not who I am," so I was seeing the message again.

I've been feeling an increased amount of tension in my neck and shoulders, trying to figure out where in my life I am feeling tense or apprehensive. Perhaps I am trying to do too much, a very old habit I don’t know if I will ever relinquish. However, I know from past experience where this can lead. I was so proud of myself when I didn’t need to wear my TENS unit every day anymore and hadn't needed to use it for almost six months. I’ll be right back while I go put it on.

O.K., I'm back. There are so many more stories and books I have started to write and want to finish. I just finished another little one titled: Miracles Sandwiched Between The Challenges: Making It Through The Roller Coasters Of My Life (With The Help Of My Guardian Angels). You can find it HERE.

It is so easy for me to lose hours in reading every interesting thing I find on Facebook or when I Google specific topics (like resilience), so I am either immersed in writing or immersed in reading. I wrote many things about setting a timer to remind me to take breaks, and I am guilty of ignoring my own advice. Someday, I hope to get a portable biofeedback device to attach to my shoulders that will alert me to when I begin tensing before it gets to a point of shutting me down. I've been reminding myself that I don't HAVE to do any of this, I am CHOOSING to. I need to stop tensing up every time I realize another hour has gone by.

While I was searching for content on resilience, I discovered I had already posted a number of links on this topic on my Articles and Websites & Blogs pages, but I hadn't actually written a blog post about it. My memory can be somewhat foggy, a 'symptom' of being a creative writer. At least that is all it is now. When I was in my 20’s I dealt with episodes of severe ‘fibro fog'. (One day I kept driving by my home but kept zoning out and missing it. I had to call my mother and ask her to come get me.) I am so very grateful I recovered from years of chronic fatigue syndrome. I am grateful the residual fibromyalgia is all I deal with now.

Resilience. The definition of resilience in Webster's dictionary is: "the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress." I'd like to add to this "a strained mind." Over the course of six months, I've managed to get into 'shape' exercising at Curves. The mind can take a lot longer to recover after a stressful situation as it is impossible to be 'Mindful' of every thought that finds its way into the vast infinity of 'Mind Space.'

One of the things I've learned over the years is fibromyalgia is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms that manifests, usually as a result of stress vs. an actual disease. Stress can be physical, emotional, or mental. The more stress you deal with, the more out of ease your body will become, thus dis-eased. Right now as I write this, I am listening to one of many healing sound meditations I've found on YouTube:

There are many aspects to address such as the amount of stress you have endured, how you have coped with this stress, how resilient you are, what you tell yourself about what is going on in your life, how stress can manifest into physical symptoms, the stress due to malnutrition or dehydration, or a gut that has lost its ability to assimilate food. Then there are the ill effects of excessive sugar, fat, smoking, drinking, etc. There is no simple solution. I am certain that any day now, we will be able to put electrodes on our bodies and generate a full report on our home computers (or smartphones) on the status of all our bodily functions as well as what our mental/emotional state is. Any day now...

On I found, "One of the precursors to fibromyalgia is stress. Although we say that stress can be a good thing, the fact for fibromyalgia sufferers is that stress is a trigger for the disorder. Muscle pain can be triggered by stress, as can headaches, nausea, and depression. The hormones that are released with stress interfere with pain receptors and end up causing serious grief." Our challenge is to find balance, so stress hormones don't rule our lives.

On Psychology Today, I found: "Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. Even after misfortune, resilient people are blessed with such an outlook that they are able to change course and soldier on."

I believe many of us are providing Psychologists with a lucrative living, second only to medical doctors, although I did many years of SELF-analysis because I didn't have access to the real thing.

In Becoming Resilient: What You Can Do, Lisa Lorden Myers wrote: "Those who deal best with difficulty and adversity in life have a quality that neuroscientists, psychologists, and business experts alike call “resilience.” It is a particularly important concept for those who live with CFS/FM—or the life-changing challenges of any chronic illness—on a daily basis. Frederic Flach, M.D., author of Resilience: Discovering a New Strength at Times of Stress, points out that since a person’s level of resilience is not a static ingredient in personality, it can fluctuate over time. Understanding our natural strengths and limitations can help us focus on factors that can enhance our resilience."

The Road to Resilience on the 'American Psychology Association' website includes:

"Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences. Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common in people who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone."

I'm sure that anyone includes me, which is why I am researching the subject. There are also 10 ways to build resilience on this site.

Last but not least, on the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association Website, I found a beautiful letter written by a woman to her younger self. I have also been thinking of writing advice to my younger self as well. I wish her name was posted on the article, but it isn't. I'd friend her on Facebook. Her letter begins with:

"Dear Friend,

In the coming months, you will be walking a unique and unfamiliar path. Nothing in life so far has prepared you for the changes your body and spirit will endure.

Take heart, because others will reach out and encourage you to trust your intuition. Be still and listen carefully despite the searing, stabbing, and throbbing pains. Quiet your mind when the world spins madly around you with a confusion of sound and light. And when you feel your life force slipping away, gently evaluate why. Have a touchstone to stay grounded when nothing makes sense and mixed-up words roll off your lips. You’ll be okay.

After enduring the brain-seizing pains and life-altering symptoms, you still have two big, hard things to do. Eliminating both toxic relationships and grieving over “what could have been” will improve your health. Connect your mind and body and spirit. Learn to love yourself."

Self-love and acceptance is indeed the key. The rest of the letter can be found here:

Now that you’ve read about resilience, do you know anyone who displays examples of this trait? Someone you admire and look up to? Are you one of the not so resilient people? Did you know this is a trait you can learn? Please leave a comment below to start a conversation!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Searching for Love

Hopefully this post won't come across as a sermon you would hear in a church. Often times I have epiphanies while in deep conversations with another person and one of these conversations occurred on Wednesday night. 

I am going to talk about the (11th) biblical commandment, "Love one another as I have loved you." (John 13:34). Back in 2011, I asked one of my sisters the following question: "How can I love others as God loves me if my perception of love is distorted?" She had replied something in the line of, "Perhaps the commandment should read: "The Greatest Sin is Not Loving Ourselves as God Loves Us," which sparked an entirely new journey for me. How many of us can actually say we know what the true essence of God's love is? GOD's love vs. HUMAN love?

Thus, I set out to find out what this essence of love was... as well as what I'd been missing. In my initial research, I found that we make conclusions/decisions about who we are as early as three years of age. We live our entire lives based on this conclusion. Indeed, I had concluded that I was not lovable and therefor did not deserve the best that life had to offer. I tried extra hard to prove that I was, which continuously backfired.

I absolutely LOVE Facebook... especially the times that messages I most needed to hear showed up on my feed. One day, a message came with a video on YouTube: The Miracle Of Human Creation.

I watched this video over and over again... asking the question... how could I have ever believed that I was not a miracle? How do any of us ever begin to believe we are not miracles? How could I have ever believed that I was not loved into existence?

With this new seed planted in my mind, a garden began to grow around me. I had gardens grow around me before, but with much smaller flowers. This time, each flower that bloomed was bigger and brighter as I walked on a new road to uncover yet another layer of who I really was. As my flowers grew taller and my love grew stronger (from within), many amazing people began to show up in my life to reflect the person I was growing to be. I saw many walls (ones I had built around my soul to protect myself from unknown threats) come tumbling down. 

Love is such an amazing thing when you begin to feel it to its fullest for the first time. I relate it to finally getting a hearing aid after a life time of being partially deaf... in which I can hear sounds I've never been able to hear before for the first time. All the Bible lessons, books I read, and spiritual teachers who told me how much God loved me, didn't do any good when I had no clue what this love felt like.

In the meantime, I was also learning about Law of Attraction... how you will attract what you focus on. Back to the conversation I had on Wednesday night. The morning after I told this person that what shifted in my life was learning how to focus differently, I realized it was much more than that. What shifted was my perception of love. As I began to feel a tremendous expansion of love from within my being, I seemed to begin attracting everything that is good and wonderful in my life.

The second missing link in my life was TRUST. While I do not declare myself as a Christian, many of the teachings of Jesus ring true to my soul... such as, "whatever you desire, when you pray, BELIEVE that you will receive them, and you shall have them". (Mark 11:24). I searched for most of my life in every religion and in every religious / spiritual book searching for the answers to questions I had. How many of you have done the same thing? What were you really searching for? Do you even know? It seemed that I had to find the essence of unconditional love before I could get to the point of believing... that is, believing that I deserved to have what I desired.

What did you start to believe when you were three years old? I just read another blog post written by a beautiful woman whose mother doesn't even remember the day she told her daughter that she had an ugly nose. Just one careless comment can scar you for life... unless in your seeking, you stumble upon the thing you were told, realize it wasn't true, and burst into love. For me, it happened that fast... the sensation of bursting from inside.

Within this essence of love, I find myself loving many people as if they are family, partners, and even my own children. It is a very different way of living. Perhaps before, I was merely existing. I wonder what life has in store for me now!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Me? Take Care of All These Animals? I'm a City Girl!

I remember a time when I was afraid… of so many things. I felt unsupported by the people in my life as well as my body, which had never been very strong. As a child, I couldn’t keep up with other children and couldn’t play sports except for ping pong and badminton (if you can call them sports). While in school, I didn’t have any friends. My ‘foster’ families were the parents and children I babysat for from the time I was ten years old.

Tranformation? That’s putting it mildly! That other self I used to be no longer exists. She lives in the books I wrote. I am now surrounded by many people I care about and who care about me… and I began my complete physical rehabilitation back in January when I began to exercise at Curves. Over several months, muscles I didn’t know I had began working and getting stronger. I stood taller as my posture improved… and so did my self-confidence.

And now for the story I want to share.

Last week, when someone I know asked me to house sit for four days on her ranch (overnight) while her family went to Wisconsin, I was like… ME? I knew she had two horses, a donkey, four dogs, two cats, and lots of chickens with chicks. I knew she had rescued the first horse which turned out to be pregnant and raised the baby... which was now a large as her mama. I knew she had rescued the donkey near death and starving, and nursed it back to health.

ME? Take care of all these animals? I am a CITY girl!

I’d been around cats and chickens, but my only experience with horses was seeing them in parades, being pulled by them while I was in a cart or wagon, and my attempt to go horseback riding with a tour guide. It was supposed to be for beginners just learning to ride... we'd only walk along at a slow pace. As we got to an incline on the trail, her horse began to gallop to get momentum for the hill and all the horses behind her followed... including the one I was on. I didn’t have time to react, and went off over the side, hanging on for dear life. Fortunately, I didn’t hit the ground, but I never got on a horse again. Granted, I wasn’t asked to ride the horses on the ranch, but I was still aware of the unpredictable behavior of these huge magnificent beasts.

My experience with dogs was also limited. My mother always had small dogs until about 15 years ago. One of these little dogs had bitten me after I took a picture of her… with a flash… which startled her. I decided back then, that I would avoid dogs. It’s amazing how many similar decisions we make as children to never do something again after a negative experience.

Then my mother began to get large dogs. The first one she adopted was older and laid back… a Husky. After he died, my mother got another one… a black lab puppy, which was supposed to be trained as a companion dog for my brother while he was still alive. (He had been born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and needed full-time round the clock care.) The puppy got BIG very FAST, and never got trained. After numerous times of being jumped on, I finally insisted the dog be put in a crate or in another room with the door closed while I was visiting. Even my mother did not fare well. One day, when she had the dog tied up outside, the dog took off after another critter… pulling the rope taught… and tripping my mother. She smashed her elbow. Sadly, she was heartbroken when the dog had to be taken from her.

My older sister had dogs, too. I did not particularly care for these dogs as they never outgrew puppyhood and it didn’t take much for one of them to push me over. Then there was the Great Dane I lived with for a year six years ago. The lady wanted me to take care of her dog for a weekend. Since I felt sorry for her dog being confined in the house most of the time, I had let her out one day. The dog was so happy to be outside to run and play, she galloped back over to me, and jumped up to kiss my face. The force slammed me back into the wood stairs and into the bushes, and the corner of a stair punctured the back of my thigh. Thus, I was acutely afraid of being pushed over by a large dog. I was also acutely afraid of falling, period… after the last fall in early 2005 landed me in a wheelchair.

ME? She wants me to take care of FOUR large dogs? A Great Dane / Dalmatian mix and three hunting dogs? And horses?

I seriously doubted that I could handle the job, but she didn’t know anyone else who could do it and my desire to help a friend out-weighed my fears. I agreed. And since I wouldn’t have use of the internet while I was out there, it was an opportunity to catch up on some reading and paperwork, as well as watch long awaiting Netflix movies and do some writing. I could go ‘home’ during the day to catch up on Facebook and emails, but be back at the ranch around 4:00 PM to stay the night.

The Universe was going to support me with this new challenge and someone else I knew who was an animal ‘handler’ called me to invite me over a few nights before I was to go out on the ranch. She was fearless when it came to animals and I asked her to teach me how to handle the dogs. First, she assured me that not all dogs were alike… that the Great Dane that jumped on me should have been trained properly as a young puppy but wasn’t. Then she told me the one thing I needed to know. When there is more than one dog, they are a pack… and I had to be the leader of this pack while the owner was away. She also said they would do whatever I told them to do.


But this animal 'handler' was going to be in California while I was to be on the ranch, so I couldn't rely on her for backup.

When I arrived at my new assignment, baby gates had been placed on the two entrances from the living room and dining room area to the kitchen and the rest of the house, so the dogs wouldn’t get ‘under my feet’. I was shown where a box of small milk bones was kept by one of these gates and I could give them out as many times as I wanted to. The dogs had their own doggy door in a nearby room and would be able to go in and out whenever they wanted to. There was a huge yard for them to run around in so there wouldn’t be much more to this task. They were also somewhat spoiled and were allowed to lounge on furniture as well as their own large doggy beds strategically placed in the living room.

Then I was shown the routine of filling each of three buckets with a serving of pellets and oats for each of the two horses and the donkey, as well as a bowl of chicken feed for the chickens. I’d be feeding then around 7:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon. Although the donkey was usually allowed to come out of the pen to eat in peace away from the horses, she would have to stay inside with them while the owners were gone.

Since a predator had been killing off chicks, two penned in areas (even the top) were made to keep hens and chicks in until the chicks were big enough to be out on their own. There was also a woodshed where the remaining chickens who roamed during the day would go into at night.

On the left side of this shed was a square cut out. A ramp had been provided for the chicks to walk up into this square from their enclosed area, where an animal carrier was to separate the hen and chicks from the rest of the chickens. Each night, I was to make sure all the chickens and chicks were securely in their safe places and put barricades up to keep anything from getting to them. A small trap door would be closed in front of the animal carrier, a board put in place, and a large wood frame leaned against the door to the woodshed.

You might be wondering why I am providing all these details. What is the point of this story? Read on because there is one.

The first thing I did was make ‘friends’ with the dogs by giving them each a dog bone. I was pleasantly surprised at how they lined up side by side like well-behaved children in front of the gate. (I tried to get a photo of them all lined up, but by the time the camera clicked, they had moved.)

I was even more surprised at how polite each dog was as each would carefully and gently take a bone from my fingers and walk away so the next dog could get theirs. It looked like my job would be a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Now to backtrack a little bit, I grew up with my father’s Noah’s Ark of critters: pairs of various kinds of finches, parakeets, cockatiels, parrots, gerbils, guinea pigs, and fish. He’d enjoy them while we all had to clean their cages. I liked the parakeets the best, so when I was 18, I got my own parakeet to keep me company. When my son was 12, I adopted my first two kittens. I eventually ended up with two more. Then I was heartbroken when I had to give three of them away because I was moving to a place where I could only take one.

When I moved to Texas in 2006 (with my one cat), I was introduced to the farm life with dozens of chickens as well as wild and feral cats/kittens. One time three feral cats had litters at the same time and the man brought all the babies into the house because he was afraid the chickens would kill them. He went to work and I raised the kittens. SO, I was already well trained in caring for cats and chickens. I found out how amazingly intelligent chickens were, too.


DAY 1: In this photo, you can see the distance between the house and the horses. As I walked the distance there and back three times each day (twice to feed them and a third time to secure the chickens), I felt incredibly elated. Just three years ago, I couldn’t have done this even once. I reflected on how far I’d come and wondered how much further I’d be able to go. The dogs were on their best behavior and followed me in and out of the house without knocking me over. They even provided me with entertainment when two of them played tug of war for about ten minutes with a short piece of knotted rope.

DAY 2: As I was present with the beautiful horses, admiring how similar yet different mother and daughter were, I became acutely aware that just as they each were awesome in their uniqueness, so was I. Yet all my life, I had compared myself to other people. Maybe you can relate? Someone else was always more beautiful than me or smarter or……

The second lesson I learned that day: DON’T GIVE CARROTS TO HORSES YOU DON’T KNOW! There was a bowl of mini carrots in the refrigerator getting old. When I lived with the lady who had the Great Dane, she had met a man who had horses. She’d bring the horses ‘capples’, cored apples with a carrot through each apple. Thus, I decided to give the horses and ‘Donkey’ (her actual name), these carrots. And I didn’t realize that the following events were a result of my doing that.

DAY 3: I went out that night to secure the chickens. As I tried to leave the chicken pen, the two horses cornered me and wouldn’t budge. Remember, I don’t know anything about horses… except that they like to eat oats, hay, carrots, apples, and are very sensitive to how people feel. I couldn’t let myself feel fear. They’d feel it. And I didn’t know how to get them to move so I stood there and talked to them, asking them politely to please move. One of them finally shifted and I dashed on by, hoping I wouldn’t get slammed against the side of the pen.

Donkey knocked a ceramic dish out of my hand as she attempted to push the gate open as I was trying to secure it with the chain. I felt bad for her as the horses would finish their food first, push her away from hers, and eat the rest of her share. Sometimes they picked on her for no apparent reason. A scorpion came into the house that night and was lingering in the hallway. I don’t like to kill anything bigger than an ant or mosquito so I put a cup over it and slid a card underneath it to transport it outside.

DAY 4: The lone deer and rabbit I was told come up to the house finally appeared. That night, I went out to secure the chickens. As I was leaning over to secure the little trap door, I heard the gate behind me shut and latch. Shoot! How would I get out? Was there a way to open it from the inside? I stood up, turned around, and saw one of the horses standing there. Was she laughing at me? I could have sworn she was! Fortunately, there was a space next to the latch where I could fit my hand through and unlatch the gate. Back in the house, in the side room where the doggy door was, I had to fill up two bowls with dog food. There, by the doggy door, was a HUGE spider. I looked for something to pick it up in and put it outside.

DAY 5: I was thinking about what the horses did and began writing this post. Suddenly it dawned on me. THE CARROTS! The night I was cornered, they were not going to budge until I gave them more of them. And the night the horse shut the gate on me was her way of saying ‘serves you right for not giving me carrots last night!’ That night, I went out to secure the chickens. Before I could react, Baby horse followed me into the chicken pen. Shoot! How was I supposed to get her out? I dashed back to the shed by the house where the food was to get some to try and lure her out with. Too bad I didn’t have any more carrots! I dashed back with a bucket of food, but Mama horse tried to get the bucket from me before I got to Baby horse. Why didn’t I think of bringing a second bucket? I threw some food on the ground and finally lured Baby horse out of the pen and secured it. As my adrenaline subsided, I realized that I had just accomplished an amazing feat for little old me! I also met the longest legged spider I’d ever seen. One of the legs was about four inches! Later, the owners notified me that the weather was bad in Wisconsin so they wouldn’t be able to start back until the following day.

DAY 6: Once again, the owners are delayed. Fortunately, there were no more ‘incidents.’

DAY 7: Time to go home. The owners were returning soon and I didn’t need to stay any longer. They texted me about two hours later that they were home. That afternoon at 4:00, at home, I felt the urge to return and feed the animals, but I didn’t have to. That evening, I felt the urge to go out and secure the chickens, but I didn’t have to. I felt an odd transition back to my ‘normal’ life. I had bonded with the horses, the donkey, the four dogs, the two cats, and the chickens. At least they live close enough for me to go visit, unlike my brother and sisters who live so far away.

DAY 8: Meeting with the owner to review the experience. I thought the dogs were very well behaved compared to all the other dogs I knew, but I found out that they were ‘out of control’… I wasn’t supposed to allow them to wrestle and rough house, even outside because they were hunting dogs and could easily turn aggressive. When she got home, they were out in the yard energetically 'playing'. She whistled for them to stop. Mama was back! Now I know, should I do this again in the future, I will bring a whistle because I don’t know how to do what she did.


There had been many feats that I had accomplished in life… alone. I started new jobs, learned how to drive, got on airplanes and the Amtrak train, went tent camping (alone with my young son), up and moved in the midst of danger way too many times which included driving halfway across the country, and survived many stressful hardships. But this experience stood out from all the rest.

Perhaps it was because I had the opportunity to find out how much stronger I am now. It was barely three years ago that I was still staying in bed a lot and had to use motorized carts when I went shopping because I didn't have the strength or the energy to walk throughout the stores. On the ranch, I was discovering how much more I am capable of doing now. I was feeling supported by the Earth and my Universe. And being with the horses was very healing.

Has there been one particular experience that you’ve had that stood out from all the rest?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Coincidences and Serendipities

Saturday, I met a man who has been on a similar journey as I have been.. a journey of overcoming numerous life challenges and learning to love and accept ourselves completely. 

We were talking about soul contracts and how we make agreements with other souls before we are born to be the characters in a spiritual 'play' for the purpose of soul evolution. I had read about this, and began to relate this concept with a personal experience which I told him about. 

My father had been a hot-tempered, foul mouthed, person who was emotionally distant, except for when he was displaying his bad temper. We (my siblings, me, & my mother) avoided him as much as we could. 

When I was 40, (he was about 70), I was on an airplane (I rarely fly) & I felt a weird sensation like something was being ripped out of me. I yanked 'it' back. After I landed, I called home & learned that my father had gone into cardiac arrest in the ambulance that was transporting him to the hospital and was resuscitated. I couldn't help wonder... did my yanking back have anything to do with him coming back?

Dad was at his chiropractor's complaining about pain in his arm & shoulder... and the doctor called 911. He had a stint put in, and lived for another 14 years. 

I wanted to know what had happened when I had that experience on the plane, and learned about being tied together with 'soul strings'. If my father & I were connected in that way, I wanted to know the hows & whys. 

I was the 1st in my family to start talking to him about his life and asking him questions to find out who this man was that I was 'connected' to. I found out about how abusive his father was & that my father didn't know how else to be. At that time, he told me "if you want me to say I'm sorry, I am". 

Around this time, one of my nephews was diagnosed with Aspergers & we were told it ran in families... we realized Dad must have had this, too, which included the inability to control out-bursts. 

In August 2008, I was 1500 miles away, talking on the phone with someone, when I suddenly felt the atmosphere in the room change. I FELT like I was being hugged, and then I FELT the words I love you. Then I was shown a vision of green rolling hills. Then it all disappeared. I told the person I was talking to on the phone that I would call them back & called back 'home'. 

I had known that my father had a stroke the week before & was in the hospital with a feeding tube, unresponsive. At the exact time I felt what I felt, he had died. 

Back to my conversation with the man I was talking to about soul contracts. He had been telling me that we agree to have certain experiences before we are born for our soul's evolution. Once we get this, we can let go of all the other people in our life who contributed to our growth and move on. They won't necessarily 'get this' and continue to be the way they have always been. 

I have been noticing moments of synchronicity more and more often these days. 

I also just learned about Dr. Len's work with Hooponopono. He went into a prison and repeated "I am sorry, Please forgive me, I love you, Thank you" for each of the prisoners. They transformed. I am doing this now on the people who have hurt me in the past. I have begun to do this too... especially for the men I used to be in relationships with.

In relationships, we attract a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. I told this man I was talking to on Saturday (he is in the process of becoming a relationship coach) how I finally learned to let go of my stories about the rapes, molestation, and abuse, after seeing that they were perhaps unconsciously agreeing to treat me the way they did because of how I felt about myself. The man validated my comment and congratulated me on realizing this. 

When we learn that we are completely OK and worthy of the highest forms of love, our world changes. Peace.

Please comment on any personal experience you have had that relates to what I have written.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Life is a journey, not a destination. My personal journey has been about self-discovery and I titled my first memoir, "Appearances: A Journey of Self-Discovery". I titled the sequel, "Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain".

For the last year, I've been listening to a number of personal development seminars, book marketing seminars, and relationship seminars. The common denominator seems to be the necessity of developing self-confidence and self-esteem, areas I've struggled with for most of my life. In the area of relationships, I really wanted to identify the core blocks I knew were still lingering in my subconscious... and the only way to do this was to face them.

Many of my past relationships were abusive ones, and according to Law of Attraction, we attract to us a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. While I have been making strides in self-confidence with exercising, friendships, writing, and music, I became aware that I still was doing some self-loathing for allowing situations with some of the men I've been with to happen, which included rape and molestation. I knew self-loathing had to go, but how?

In listening to about half a dozen dating coaches talk about the issues many women face (and men, too), I kept asking myself, why did I allow those things to happen? 

I contemplated whether energetically, if I disliked myself that much, perhaps the men were doing what they felt they were supposed to do, which was treat me like crap because I believed I was crap. And I couldn't help wonder if I would have been treated the same way had I loved and accepted myself, physical challenges and all. 

I had agreed to doing things I didn't want to do out of the fear of being rejected. I let the resulting injuries linger for way too many years... and emotional baggage gets stored in your muscles. I swallowed a lot of pills to cope with pain in my muscles that I didn't realize were non-physical energetic emotional memories. 

Several years ago, I discovered EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). I did a 20 minute tapping sequence with Carol Tuttle to work through the symtoms of fibromyalgia relating to the car accident I was in when I was 21. A boy I was in love with had just broken up with me and I was devastated. When I was driving home, the fatique of the event along with CFS (after a bout of mono) resulted in my dozing at the wheel and I woke up just in time to see the car I was about to crash into.

In the EFT exercise, I tapped through all the emotions I was experiencing at the time of the car accident which released some of the emotional memory from my muscles. I definitely felt the difference. 

However, I couldn't find any EFT sequences for the other traumatic experiences... and so they lingered... until recently, when one of my sisters told me about Robert Smith's work with people who had been traumatized using a method called Faster EFT (Emotionally Focused Transformations). There are a number of YouTube videos demonstrating how Robert works with people on a variety of topics, including PTSD and rape. I copied the following paragraph from the FasterEFT website:

"FasterEFT is a methodology developed by Robert G. Smith after many years of studying and working with thousands of people. It is a collection of new cutting-edge techniques and processes that integrates the most effective elements of EFT, BSFF, NLP, spiritual understanding, science and the mind’s great ability to transform itself. One of the greatest aspects in FasterEFT is that it is fast, direct and to the point. It has a healthy and logical belief system that is easily accepted. With this great mix of understandings, FasterEFT can quickly transform how you represent your past, shift your emotional disruptions and restore your physical health."

In the meantime, I've been writing Fairy Tales. The most recent one is titled, "Twin Flame". I often experience the magic of spirit (God) talking to me through my fingers while they type on the keyboard. In this tale, an elder tells a soul who is in "heaven", that humans have to live certain life cycles to become mature souls, and we make contracts with other souls before we are born to work out relationship issues. 

And so I wondered... perhaps I had made contracts with the men who had hurt me and they were only doing what I had previously agreed to do. It's definitely time for me to let the pain of the past go and move on to new experiences.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Fairy Tale Project

Once upon a time… is how every Fairy Tale begins. But it is the endings that are the most significant. For the past few years, I’ve been reading and listening to people like Gregg Braden, Teal Swan, and Abraham-Hicks about the Universal laws of attraction. I have also been meeting people who have become certified Life Coaches – the new field of Positive Psychology. What do they all say? If you don’t like your life, create a new one! Figure out what you want and imagine what it feels like to already have it and believe you will get it! Because you just might! In the meantime, your mind won’t know the difference.

I’ve lived a crazy, chaotic life (moved 43 times) and kept wishing and hoping that it would get better, but I didn’t realize until recently that because I was focusing on how I felt in the midst of the messes, I shut out possibilities for happiness. I’ve since learned that wishing and hoping implies that what you want would maybe happen someday in the future which won’t work when you are trying to manifest something now.

What the Life Coaches are all teaching is that you will manifest (attract) what you continuously focus on and that feelings are what bring into your life what you get. If you feel poor, you will continue to attract situations that will validate that you are poor. If you have self-love issues, you will continue to attract situations and partners into your life that will validate that you have low self-worth. Do you get the picture? Of course, there are exceptions as accidents happen, but I won’t go into them here.

I wrote two memoirs about what really happened in my life: "Appearances: A Journey of Self-Discovery" and "Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain," but I decided to start writing fictitious fairy tales to create very different imaginary outcomes to some of those life experiences. I’d dream as big as I could and while writing it, stay connected to the way it feels as if I already have everything I could imagine.

I’d begin to retrain my brain to only think possibilities and refuse to listen to old negative self-talk. Thus, I wrote a fairy tale of about 5,500 words – not enough for a book. But I already started to think big, and posted in a Writer’s Group on Facebook what other people thought about contributing stories for this project. And in thinking BIG, I got 35 initial responses. FAIRY TALE PROJECT was born. I could create an anthology just like Jack Canfield did with “Chicken Soup for the Soul”! Now that’s thinking BIG!

I was pleasantly surprised as to how many people loved this idea of writing their own fairy tales. With all the positive energy growing out of everyone’s excitement in this group, wonderful things for all of us are sure to begin manifesting!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


One of my favorite children's books is If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. The person who wrote the book must have been like me. Whenever I started something, I’d think of something else to do, too.

Well, while I cooked, I tried to stay in the kitchen by the stove so I wouldn't get side-tracked and forget about the food that I was cooking. I had a large bag of frozen chicken halves which I decided to cook all at once, to get all the cooking and cleaning up after the cooking out of the way. All I had was a large aluminum broiler pan, so I put the chicken in this and put it in the oven.

This particular day, while I was in the kitchen, I opened mail, looked through a new catalog about courses, saw two I wanted for the combined price I was planning to pay for just one (which was cancelled anyway), needed a paper clip, opened the draw the paper clip was in, and heard a knock on my door. I left the draw open to see who was at the door. On my way back to the kitchen, I was looking up instead of down, and walked into the open drawer. Now I had to put everything down to nurture the injury I sustained in the doing so.

Also, on this particular day, I had the inspiration to reorganize a few things, including my pots and pans. I could put a couple of nails inside the cabinet next to the stove to hang a couple of the pots on. I got out my tool box, and found the nails and the hammer. The wood inside the cabinet was too hard to just hammer a nail into, so I needed to get out my drill. After I drilled two holes, I hammered in the nails and hung up the pots I wanted to hang. Then I went into the closet to put the tool box and drill away.

The shelf I kept my tool box and drill on had laminate along the front which was coming loose. I got the little tube of superglue out and intended to put a few small drops on it. But… I squeezed a little too hard, and superglue back splashed onto my left hand. I had just read about someone who had super glued their fingers together, so I kept my fingers sprawled out as wide as I could, and desperately searched for a way to clean it off. Many ‘helpful’ hints later, including nail polish remover, I still had super glue on my hand.

In the midst of the super glue panic, I had forgotten I had the chicken in the oven. I opened the oven door, relieved that the chicken had not over-cooked. The chicken looked delicious, and with a potholder in each hand, I expected I’d be able to pull the aluminum tray out without any problems. Wrong. The aluminum tray buckled and an inch of hot chicken fat spilled over the sides, down into the oven, down into the grill below the oven, all over the oven door, through the opening where the hinges were, and onto the floor, just barely missing my bare toes. This just wasn’t my day!

I tried my best to wipe up all the chicken fat before it hardened, and used a lot of paper towel to do this with. When I got to the grill, I opened it all the way out. Inside the grill was a large metal oven tray I didn’t know I had.

I was exhausted after hours of clean up, and sat back down at my computer to google remedies for super glue. I found one that involved smearing Vaseline all over the surfaces where the glue was, putting on a glove to keep the Vaseline from getting on anything else, and keeping it on overnight. The following morning, I took off the glove, and the glue began to peel away from my skin.

Since these incidents happened over a year ago, I haven’t cooked any more chicken in my oven (or anything else, either). Matter of fact, I have fallen in love with dehydrated food that cooks up in minutes with just boiling water and some spices… along with eating at pot lucks and fresh fruits/vegetables fresh out of their bags. Occasionally I have a frozen dinner or open a can of tuna. I think I’ll stick to writing, and let everyone else do the cooking.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Person Who Can Change Your Life

Some of us have struggled so hard with this... our self-image being formed by parents and teachers who told us we weren't good enough or smart enough... and we had believed it. I had believed this. 

I couldn't hear as well as others could and until we moved to a new school district that tested for hearing & eyesight (I was going into 4th grade), no one knew I couldn't see clearly for more than 10 inches in front of my face or couldn't hear sounds above a certain decibel and couldn't understand the enunciation of words that most people were saying. This held me back in school, and so I believed from an early age that I was a helpless kitten who needed others to guide me through life... and most of the time the people who were guiding me were not healthy for me to be with. 

I wasn't hearing enough of what I COULD do to counter all the things I couldn't (with the exception of the office work I used to do). My challenges were accentuated by being born with a birth defect in my lower spine called Spina Bifida Occulta and Spondylolisthesis. I didn't know about this until I was 50 years old. It was the reason my hamstrings had always been extremely tight which affected my ability to participate in normal gym activities in school. Because I couldn't do what the other children could do, I felt incompetent in this area as well.

Self-love is such an important aspect of your life. I now believe that I was chronically ill for many years because of the low-grade depression I felt due to my limiting beliefs. Not feeling good enough for anything really GOOD, I ended up in many dysfunctional relationships which modeled the one my parents had. I also lived a mostly sedentary lifestyle, believing my body wasn't capable of being stronger than it was. 

With the help of compassionate health food store owners who also studied Chinese Medicine, I learned how to strengthen my immune system and recovered from the chronic illnesses. However, I still had to deal with the symptoms of full-blown fibromyalgia aka myofascial pain syndrome. I avoided physical exercise because of pain. I ended up taking a LOT of medications, many to compensate for the side effects of others. I hadn't learned yet that most of the medications I was taking to cope with symptoms were actually making it all worse.

With a brand new year, January 2015, at 59 years of age. I decided to trade most of the medications I was taking for exercise, especially after learning that the woman who owned Curves in my town had recovered from a severe car accident and ten surgeries as a result of the injuries through exercise. I wrote in a previous post about the book Younger Next Year and had started to exercise by going on 20-minute walks, but this wasn't going to be enough to counter the effects of osteoporosis. 

Sonja turned out to be the perfect personal trainer for me. I knew if she could recover and do all that she does with the severity of the injuries she sustained and all the surgeries (including hip replacements) she had, I could. Merely one month later, the parts of my body that were too weak to do certain machines are stronger. I no longer need her to assist me with the devices I couldn't do on my own when I started. Unlike all my other attempts to join gyms and exercise (which were short-lived), I can stick to this. And there is nothing better than receiving praise for how much improvement you are making! 

I also began the new year with the completion of my 7th book: Growing An Internal Garden to Cope With Chronic Illness, Pain, and Depression, which began as a project for myself for maintaining my health.

Transformation is an amazing sensation when we finally realize that we are strong and smart... more than good enough... and amazing sensitive souls. Transformation occurs when the frightened lost kitten can look in the mirror and finally realize he/she is a lion... strong... confident... capable... believing that anything is possible!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Growing An Internal Garden to Cope With Chronic Pain, Illness, and Depression

With age and experience, many of us come out the other side with a lot of wisdom to share, I consider myself one of them. 

I've been to all kinds of doctors and learned something useful from each one of them. I've talked to a lot of other people who have had all kinds of physical challenges. I've delved into all kinds of Alternative Medicine searching for solutions. I've read a lot of books. I've been dealing with physical challenges since I was a child. Maybe I should have been a doctor or health care practitioner. I got as far as obtaining Reiki Certifications when I was in my 30's and a Bachelor's Degree when I was 41. Hopefully I will be able to continue my education and get a Master's Degree in something -- or some type of certification in the health and wellness field.

The inspiration for this book (my 7th one) was inspired after I listened to Teal Swan’s video where she says to ask yourself “What would someone who loves themselves do?” After asking this numerous times, an answer came to me. Treat my body like it I a garden.


think of your body as a beloved garden. Choose the flowers you want to grow. Plant good seeds. Provide nourishing soil. Fertilize it. Refrain from using pesticides. Water it. Feel the joy of seeing new flowers grow. Bask in the wonder of how much beauty can sprout from tiny seeds. It takes time for flowers to grow. Be patient with yourself as you nurture your inner garden and wait for your flowers to bloom. After your flowers bloom, the butterflies will come. Remember that they were once homely caterpillars. In order to become butterflies, they had to weave a protective cocoon around themselves. When you begin this journey, think of yourself as being in a cocoon, soon to discover you will become a beautiful butterfly. This little book includes a narrowed down summary of what I learned in my personal journey through chronic pain, illness, and depression. It is set up like a workbook with exercises for you to do and recommendations of books to read as well as videos to watch. Be inspired and believe you can recover.

You can find this book on Amazon through the links provided on the "My Books" page. I hope this book will help you in your own journey and that you will share it with those you love.